Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bigger Picture Moments: Rebuilding

The glass that's been teetering on the edge of the table for the past few minutes tumbles to the floor, erupting into an orange juice volcano.

Thud, clank, clank -- sticky, orange puddles coat the floor, and before I can grab a towel, the toddler runs through it, barefoot.

Deep breathe on the outside, internal scream of frustration inside my head.

I lend a smile to a sheepish-looking preschooler, who clearly sees the error of his breakfast glass placement now that its liquid is no longer safely concealed inside.

As I spring to action, grabbing a towel, I can hear inside my head all the things I want to say.

I told you so.

I asked you to be careful.

I warned you that would happen.

Look at this mess!

Because I've had enough sleep, food, water, I can shoo those thoughts away and regroup my thoughts.

What do I really want to say about this, I ask myself. What do I want him to remember me saying.

I look at the hazel eyes staring up at me, waiting to see my reaction, soften and say, "Accidents happen."

But I so easily could've gone a road I've taken so many times before, exploding volcano style with huffs and groans and ashy black words that mar my little one's mind.

Here's the thing -- a few weeks ago, I didn't even notice how I was reacting, but as I've been reading Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves* and applying the author's method of response {NOT reaction}, I've witnessed my very selfish, very immature reactions to frustrations.

And I've noticed that G.'s reactions to frustration {you know, the ones I'm always trying to change -- like when he huffs or yells or groans?} are mirrors of my own reactions to situations I don't like.

{Yes, you read that right; I've been reacting to my toddlers like a toddler. Groan.}

And today, I doubt the OJ scene would have stuck out so clearly had I not witnessed the most beautiful moment between G., his toddler brother and me.

G. and I were building a fortress, a lair for his lions.

We were stacking the colorful, vibrant Duplos carefully, strategically {so the lions wouldn't escape}.

It turned into a labor of love that took us about 20 minutes to create.

No sooner than G. had placed all the lions inside, 17-month-old E. {affectionately referred to as Babyzilla} scurried over to the fortress and tore it apart when his brother and I took a quick water break.

Our masterpiece was ruined.

G.'s face fell, clearly disappointed.

I braced myself for screaming and yells of frustration.

But instead he looked at me, smiled and said, "Well, I guess we'll have to rebuild it."

I looked at the colorful blocks, totally scattered everywhere and said, "Yup. I guess we will."

And so we rebuild, restructure, one block at a time.

{* by Naomi Aldort}

Simple BPM

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